Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Spend time the way Mr. Jefferson did when he was in residence at Poplar Forest, the home he designed as his personal retreat. Here was a place, far from the public eye, where he could pursue his favorite pastimes, rest and rekindle his creativity. Explore the historic house and grounds at your own pace: unplug, read and relax in the parlor looking out over the South Lawn. Enjoy a complimentary cup of coffee or tea, or browse the exhibits in the lower level of the house. And on Saturdays, sit in on parlor talks led by experts on subjects related to Jefferson’s time.
Admission to Winter Weekends (Saturdays and Sundays only from January 18 to March 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, last admittance at 3 p.m.) is $18 for adults; $16 for seniors (ages 65+) and military (must show ID); $10 for college students (must show ID) and teens (ages 12 -18); $6 for youth (ages 6-11); and free for children under age 6 and Poplar Forest members. For more information on Winter Weekend events, call the Museum Shop at 434.534.8120.
Parlor Talks Schedule
On Saturdays, join us in the parlor of Jefferson’s retreat home for our 2020 Parlor Talks series. Each talk is given by a Poplar Forest expert on a specific topic about Jefferson and his time. All talks are included with admission.
Jefferson and Religion
Saturday, January 18 at 1:00 p.m.
Was Thomas Jefferson a Christian? He claimed he was in the sense Jesus intended him to be. His lifetime search and struggle to find the “true” religion culminated in the creation of his own Bible and finally finding peace at the end. Presented by Dick Hiner, Poplar Forest Docent.
Experiencing the Carriage Turnaround and Searching for Jefferson’s Oval Bed of Roses
Saturday, January 25 at 1:00 p.m.
Be among the first to experience the new carriage turnaround, which has been carefully designed and recreated based on extensive archaeological excavations thanks to the generous support of the Garden Club of Virginia. Join Dr. Eric Proebsting, the Director of Archaeology and Landscapes at Poplar Forest, for an overview of this important piece of the historic landscape and the archaeologists’ efforts to uncover the oval bed of roses once located in front of the villa.
Tea, Coffee and Chocolate Ceramic Wares from the Jefferson Period
Saturday, February 1 at 1:00 p.m.
Poplar Forest’s archaeological collections include numerous fragments from ceramic vessels once used for tea and other hot beverages during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Join Dr. Jenn Ogborne, the Curator of Archaeological Collections, for a look at various re-assembled sets and related beverage vessels, and learn about their use within the Jefferson-period community at Poplar Forest.
Restoration Workshop Open House
Saturday, February 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Enjoy a rare opportunity to view Poplar Forest’s collection of antique tools on display in the Poplar Forest Restoration Workshop, which will be open to the public all day. Meet modern day craftsmen, learn how the house is being restored and get a preview of their next step in the restoration process. The craftsmen will be on-hand all day for discussion.
Furniture from the Monticello Joinery 1809-1826: The Expert Craftsmanship of the Enslaved Master-Joiner John Hemmings
Saturday, February 8 at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
By the end of his presidency in 1809, Thomas Jefferson’s expensive European furniture was outdated and showed signs of over 30 years of use in a house that was constantly under construction. With financial resources substantially diminished he turned to John Hemmings, his enslaved master-joiner and woodworker, to produce furniture from the Monticello joiner’s shop. Craftsman Canlin (C.J.) Frost explores Hemmings career beyond house carpentry as a furniture maker for Monticello and Poplar Forest.
The Archaeological Excavations at New London
Saturday, February 15 at 1:00 p.m.
Thomas Jefferson was a frequent visitor to the nearby town of New London, which was established in 1754 as the first seat of Bedford County. In the 18th century prior to the establishment of Lynchburg, New London was the regional trading center where Jefferson purchased essential provisions for the plantation. Join Randy Lichtenberger, Director of Cultural Resources at Hurt & Proffit Inc., for an overview of the current archaeological excavations around the extant Mead’s Tavern (c. 1763), and a group of town lots that contained stores and taverns in the 18th century.
A Firebell in the Night: Slavery and the American West
Saturday, February 22 at 1:00 p.m.
In commemoration of the bicentennial of the Missouri Compromise, Dr. Adam W. Dean of the University of Lynchburg presents a new look at the controversy over slavery in the Louisiana Purchase and legislative compromise that followed, including an analysis of Thomas Jefferson’s view on this contentious episode in American politics.
The Architectural Restoration of Jefferson’s Villa Retreat
Saturday, February 29 at 1:00 p.m.
Explore the on-going architectural restoration of Thomas Jefferson’s historic Palladian-style villa. Join Travis McDonald, Poplar Forest’s Director of Architectural Restoration, for an overview of the restoration since it began in 1989.
Growing Up at Poplar Forest
Saturday, March 7 at 1:00 p.m.
Discover what it was like to live at Poplar Forest. Stephen Watts, whose family was the last to own and live at Poplar Forest, shares his memories of growing up in Thomas Jefferson’s octagonal retreat.
Opening Weekend Trail Hike
Saturday, March 14 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Explore the natural landscape that captivated Thomas Jefferson. Join Dr. Eric Protesting, the Director of Archaeology and Landscapes at Poplar Forest, for an afternoon trek through the woodlands and meadows, and around the creeks on the plantation grounds.
Sunday, March 15 at 1:30 p.m.
Learn about the art of Hearth Cooking and ten Jefferson family recipes in the Founding Father’s own hand that survive today. Presented by Mary Kesler, Coordinator of Historical References and Themed Tours, and Vince Fastabend, Facilities Manager.